Blu-Ray Review: ‘Sinister 2’ Lacks the Eeriness of the First Film
“Sinister 2” arrives with initial excitement but lackluster scares.
“Sinister” is a horror film that reached a semi-cult status with its creative ingenuity and eerie nature. There was so much discussion surrounding this film that a it dictated a sequel which hoped to continue the story. While the story does continue, the question is whether or not it will be a story that supplements or depreciates the original film.
“Sinister 2” is a different story about the character Courtney Collins (Shannyn Sossamon) and her two boys Dylan (Robert Daniel Sloan) and Zach (Dartanian Sloan). While attempting to hide from their abusive husband/father, they move into a rural house that is cursed by the same curse in the first film. The connection to the original “Sinister” comes into play when the Ex-Deputy (James Ransone) from the first film runs into Courtney and her boys while hunting down these cursed houses.
Cinematics (Cinematography, Acting, Etc.) – 2.5
The plot for “Sinister 2” has its moments of intrigue but tends to fail as the story progresses. Unlike other horror sequels, this film doesn’t seek to expand the story but instead follows the same story with different characters. Following this structure, “Sinister 2” fails to grasp the elements of mystery from the first film and jumps right into things bypassing the build up for the scare. Initially the plot had me interested but by the end, I thought the story could have been much better.
But while the story suffered, the characters weren’t so bad. The deputy was an engaging and likable character that would have had potential if he was accompanied with a fuller story. James Ransone played the part well of a man who is obviously afraid and even a bit weak. But despite those attributes he puts his life on the line for the innocent without question. Shannyn Sossamon was acceptable as the mother of two boys and a victim of abuse, but the role was a bit of a generic one in many films. Robert Daniel Sloan and Dartanian Sloan were meant to represent the aspect of corrupted innocence which usually brings about fear in the audience. But when their purpose is stated by the ghosts themselves, it loses that potential for fear.
I do think that the setting had its moments. There was great lighting throughout the film and if the story would have taken a few risks, I’m sure that I would have appreciated it much more. The open farm land and rustic look of the homes could have easily painted the picture of isolation and despair but the area still felt crowded (even if they were ghosts).
Overall I think “Sinister 2” was very lacking in its cinematic elements. The story and character development struggled to make it to the end despite some potential for a supplemental story arch that could have appeased many fans.
Entertainment Value – 2
Without the scares of the first film, there is little entertainment to be found in “Sinister 2.” I could appreciate the potential for this film to be a worthy successor but at times things just seemed a bit lazy. The story took most of its structure from the first film but left out the aspects that made the “Sinister” a good horror film. The ghosts had too much dialogue which made them seem more like humans than spirits. Backstories were brief with other characters which left me minimally invested in their fate.
I wish “Sinister 2” would have taken a new direction rather than following the same path. An example would be the sequel to “The Ring.” It may have taken a risk going a different route and failed but at least it was different and gave a backstory for the fans that wanted it. If “Sinister 2” followed that structure, it may have been worthy of a better score in this realm.
Re-Watchability – 1.5
You would have to be a major “Sinister” fan to want to sit through this film again. If what was stated above does not describe why, then you will definitely understand after your first viewing of this film.
Blu-Ray Extras – 2.5
I actually found the making of this film to be more intriguing than the film itself. In addition to discovering the details that went into this film, the Blu-ray extras also give some extended and deleted scenes and added commentary that make you appreciate the film a bit more.
"Sinister 2" will probably be a film that solely appeases die hard fans of the first. It explores a different side of the original with a new story yet the elements are mostly the same leaving it a bit lackluster. There are some interesting features on the Blu-ray that would appease some cinephiles but the film itself fails to meet expectations, even for a sequel.